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Alaska Lawmakers Endow Performance-based Scholarships with $400M

May 18, 2011

To ensure funding is available in future years for students who complete a more rigorous high school curriculum focused on math and science, the legislature set aside $400 million for performance-based scholarships in the capital budget. The FY12 operating budget also includes $6 million in first-year funding for the program, which will be available to high school students graduating in 2011. Lawmakers last year passed legislation establishing the Alaska Merit Scholarship Program, but failed to provide a funding source (see the April 28, 2010 issue of the Digest). High-performing students, including those taking four years of math and science, are eligible for the scholarships, which provide up to $4,755 annually for postsecondary education and job training. The educational endowment was first proposed by Gov. Sean Parnell in 2009.